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No Word on Whether HomeBank Plans to Pass on Cannabis BankingLock Icon

2 min read

Have you heard that HomeBank of Arkansas, the tiny bank based in Ashley County, has backed out of its plan to bank marijuana-related businesses?

Whispers has heard that too.

But CEO John Stacks failed to return calls last week, and VP Jeff Roaf said only Stacks was authorized to answer questions on that topic.

It’s been almost exactly a year since Whispers first reported that HomeBank had hooked up with a third-party vendor of cannabis banking services, Safe Harbor Services LLC, a subsidiary of Partner Colorado Credit Union.

HomeBank reiterated that plan with an official announcement in September.

It is the only Arkansas bank to announce plans to bank the marijuana industry, a line of business fraught with regulatory peril since the same federal government that insures bank deposits has not legalized marijuana in any form.

A rumor, or perhaps mere speculation, that HomeBank was looking for a buyer has also spread in the local banking industry, but Stacks dismissed that when Whispers asked him about it a few weeks ago.

HomeBank reported assets of $70.8 million as of Sept. 30, down 10 percent in a year, and net income of $17,000 for the first three quarters of 2018 after a loss of $29,000 in 2017. While chartered at Portland in extreme southeast Arkansas, most of its business occurs through branches in north-central Arkansas — Greenbrier, Damascus and Marshall.

Rockview Digital Solutions LLC of Little Rock is offering a cashless product called MediPays to the state’s new medical marijuana industry, and it is working with an Arkansas bank that has not yet been revealed publicly.

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